THE ART OF STAYING AT HOME BY CHRIS GAMBRELL

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AINTING, COOKING, CLEANING, CHILDREN… KEEPING SANE IN THE LIMITED SPACE AND EVEN MORE LIMITED TIME…

WHAT RESOURCES FOR INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION CAN BE FOUND AT HOME?

The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.
The hollow hour.
Blank, empty.
The very pit of all other hours.
No one feels good at four in the morning.

The ominous picture painted by the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska: four in the morning, the hour of ghosts, the hour which is neither early nor late—the bizarre hour.

But not everyone dislikes and avoids this mystical time of the day.

An artist’s home at 4.30 in the morning. Everyone is fast asleep. Or wait: someone is awake—and painting!

Chris Gambrell (@gambrell_) – a striking fashion illustrator and portraitist from Bristol, UK.

The soft strokes and bright, mellow colors of his paintings got me thinking: what is his secret to keeping the inner peace in anxious times like this? How does he keep his imagination and motivation quarantine-free when the whole world is practicing one or another form of isolation?

Enter Chris’ home, look around, dive into his daily routine and listen to his stories:
For me, the art of staying at home is getting up three hours before everybody else.

Secretly, I have enjoyed being able to get up at 4:30 every morning, with hot oats and a cup of English breakfast tea, followed by a neat, strong espresso. I work best at that time of day. The fresh, impressionable early-morning brain deals well with creativity, and I am able to put down the landmarks, which inspire me to produce more.

Since my work is affected by my mood, I have a routine of warmups to get me to the right mental place. This is often short-timed drawings on a page divided into small panels, something which I do not ‘treasure’ too much. I can then produce quality work and draw carefree until the first signs of activity.

With homeschool in session, me and the kids do a thirty-minute workout every day just before lunch and then try our best to replenish energy with some fresh nutrients.

Having the kids around keeps things fast and light, and the day soon nears evening. After a heavier meal prepared more thoughtfully than usual—because the cooking process has to be taken back a stage or two, depending on product availability,—the kids head to bed, and I can get on with working.

 

What’s been fascinating is seeing all of the different learning and working processes together in one place, weaving around one another; how we cut up the house to allocate zones for leisure, work and learning.

For me, it’s been an eye-opener: to reimagine spaces for different purposes. Now more than ever, the space in which I work has countless additional demands on it, and the day itself has to be cut into chunks, with time factored in for setting up, cleaning, workouts, making sure the kids are occupied and everybody’s happy.

The notice boards around the house have just had the whimsical jokes and long-term games erased and removed. Overnight, timetables and incentive charts took their place. For how long, who knows.

It’s taken a week or two to establish the new normality. We do what we have to do to ensure that we and others are safe and to ‘damage-limit’.

But, take five very busy lives, all with very different goals and needs, and squish them into the same place at the same time ‘all of the time’—and the need for routine becomes king.

Being aware of what is happening focuses and distracts me at the same time. But we have to carry on, and I choose to try and read the headlines and news in a more objective, fact-based way, trying not to dwell emotionally.

VHERNIER ALADINO RINGS: LET THE MAGIC SPEAK FOR ITSELF

THE MESMERISING FLUIDITY AND DEPTH, AWAKENING THE ANCIENT, MAGNETIC SENSATION OF MYSTERY AND ENCHANTMENT.

VHERNIER ONCE AGAIN PROVES THAT, EVEN IF CREATIVE GENIES ARE A MYTH, IT HAS CREATIVE GENIUSES OF ITS OWN.

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As a result of exceptional craftsmanship we can admire four new, alluring and sensual Aladino rings.

The master jewelers must have used some kind of wizardry, so pure and smooth are the shapes, so deep is the color play of the stones, and all of this so true to the spirit of Vhernier.

The streamlined, almost aerodynamic, shape and smooth implementation make these rings, despite their voluminosity, look almost weightless—the Vhernier paradox, echoing the dual nature of a modern woman: strong yet graceful, captivating yet subtle. The clear, glassy rock crystal seamlessly fuses with rose gold, allowing the colors of the stones, placed in between, to shine through: the aquatic blue of lapis lazuli, the subtle cloudiness of white mother of pearl, the depths of the Universe in grey mother of pearl, and the joyful greenth of jade.

The signature sculptural design makes these sizeable rings perfectly wearable. A reflection of the jeweler’s imagination not to be admired under glass but worn in comfort and shown to the world. And it won’t rub against your skin, sparing you any discomfort or unexpected appearance of magic spooks.

Easily recognizable by their particular, sophisticated design, these subtly futuristic pieces remain true to the architectural principles of Vhernier jewelry. Each piece is shaped like a miniature, unique, avant-garde structure, with an eye toward the environment in which it will be exhibited. Like the graceful Italian architectural masterpieces, designed bearing in mind their surroundings, the precious pieces of Vhernier jewelry are crafted with consideration and respect to the ambient space and the wearer’s body.

THE LOVE TRIANGLE: OPALS, DIOR ET MOI

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‘THIS STONE IS LIKE NO OTHER’, YOU THINK AS YOU MARVEL AT AN OPAL, AND YOU ARE RIGHT…
3D Illustration by INCYCUBANS
For a long time, I have been hesitant about opals. One of the reasons for my reluctance was the fact that most jewelry featuring opals is boring, old-fashioned and so tediously classical that it would instantly turn a young, extravagant model into an old diva.

Victoire de Castellane, Dior’s Creative Director of Fine Jewelry, was the first person to change my mind, throw away stereotypes and take a fresh look at this quirky, charismatic stone. A precious stone that invites you to dream, invokes colors you have long forgotten, along with all the fairy tales that seemed to have long gone.

‘A combination of the incompatible’, was a phrase I overheard at the presentation of the Dior et Moi high jewelry collection this winter in Paris. It cut to the core of the bold and glorious, exuberant and sublime style of Victoire de Castellane, looking into the heart of beauty without bias or prejudice. A beauty that couldn’t care less: is this (st)one precious enough?

‘When I look at it, I see the earth from afar, the oceans, the archipelagos, and the reflections of stars on the waves,’ says Victoire in an interview with DIORMAG. www.dior.com/diormag/en

When a talented artist Hakan created this captivating 3D video, my first impression was fire from the opal.

A beautiful stone with a strong character.

But not all things fragile are inherently subpar and unlucky. Sometimes fragility makes beautiful phenomena and feelings even more precious.

So let’s keep on dreaming colorful, opalescent dreams of magic, purity, sensuality, femininity and beauty!

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